Many Super Smash Bros. fans have been holding out for the appearance of Metroid’s pirate-boss Ridley as a playable character. However, Director Masahiro Sakurai is not having any of it, stating in an interview with IGN that too many sacrifices would have to be made to design to the point where it would not be the same character.
“If we made Ridley as a fighter, it wouldn’t be Ridley any longer. It’d have to be shrunk down, or its wings reduced in size, or be unable to fly around freely.
Providing accurate portrayals of characters is something I want to pay ample attention to. If I don’t stick to that thought, then we’d have to lower the quality or break the balance of the game. Something that goes way off spec could break the entire game.”
He further explains that it’s not like Ridley doesn’t appear in the game at all. Sakurai is much happier with the representation of the character as a major obstacle or boss fight in his specific level because no compromises had to be made to his design.
“Instead of going through a lot of very convoluted hocus-pocus to make Ridley a fighter, I figured it’d be better to keep Ridley as it currently is, the correct way, and have it feel like a truly threatening presence. There are other icons, too, like Metal Face and the Yellow Devil, which help effectively portray each of their world settings. They go a long way toward deepening the game world, and I think it’s been fun to experiment with.”
It’s kind of true, I suppose. Ridley has evolved into an enormous being over the course of his existence, and I think that making him as small as the playable characters would have him lose the intimidating presence he has in each Metroid game.
That is, expect for the first one when he was barely larger than Samus. I don’t think I would want him looking like this in Super Smash Bros.
That being said, I’m not particularly sad he is missing, and I like his inclusion in the game as is. The classic Metroid games have always been about Samus before anything else. Controlling Samus, taking Samus on solo, isolated missions, and destroying a planet with Samus leaving nothing behind. Later entries would do away with this notion sending her off with comrades, but they aren’t really that good, are they?
She is front and center of the franchise, and it makes sense that the she is the only playable character in Super Smash Bros. as well.